Barrington-area GOP lawmakers deliver grim outlook

Four Republican state lawmakers painted a less-than-rosy picture of Illinois government Thursday during a breakfast forum hosted by business, education and municipal groups in Barrington.

State Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein said he believes Republicans have done their part preventing House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democrats from advancing their agenda, but that could change after Election Day.

"Does Madigan win seats? Does (Gov.) Rauner win seats?" Sullivan said. "My worse fear now is it remains a quagmire."

Should the stalemate remain, 2017 could look a lot like 2015 and 2016 in terms of things getting done, said Sullivan, who is leaving the state legislature in January.

Joining Sullivan on the dais Thursday morning were fellow state Reps. Tom Morrison of Palatine and David McSweeney of Barrington Hills, along with state Sen. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods.

Morrison said about half the lawmakers in office when he started in the House six years ago have left.

"We need to encourage Democrats who claim to be independent that if they really don't like Mike Madigan, stop electing him to speaker," Morrison said.

McConchie, who was appointed to the 26th District Senate seat after Dan Duffy resigned in April, said he has seen signs that members of the Democratic rank-and-file may stand up for themselves more. He said several Democrats have told him they've become disenchanted with their leaders, and one even called the current system a farce of democracy.

"They feel empowered to speak upwards at their own leadership," McConchie said. "We'll see what that translates to after the election."

The breakfast forum was hosted by the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, Barrington Area Unit School District 220 and the Barrington Area Council of Governments.

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